07 May 2007

5 tips to use Blogger properly...

Not sure if everyone knows this already, but there are a couple of hints and tips to make your Blogger blogging experience a tad more comfortable. Like with all cutting edge hosted apps that replicate desktop experiences (in this case, DTP) - there are funnies and flaws that need to be worked around. Hope it helps.

1. Uploading images. Never, ever do this in Compose mode. For some reason, the HTML gets placed or interpreted incorrectly and you end up with an extra paragraph mark or two between each paragraph. Rather use Edit HTML, click to the very top left of your text, drop in the image, then go to the character of your post, and push backspace to make sure it's right next to the last > of the picture HTML. This pretty much solves the image posting issue. You can now go back to Compose mode and continue.

2. Using quotes. Again, great feature, stylised differently on each template. Tricky to use. Same approach as above. Never used Compose mode. Flip to Edit HTML. Select the text, hit the quote button. Flip back. If you don't, you're going to be left with paragraph marks on the end of every line - not too great when you're counting on word wrap.

3. Using Drafts. Drafts are handy if you're the type who writes 3 or 4 posts at a time, queuing them up for later activation... just remember to hit Post Options, bottom left on the editing box. This will let you set the time and date of posts - otherwise the order on your blog home page could get a bit screwy...

4. Changing the blogger header. The blogger templates just don't cut it. But before you give up on Larry and Sergey - and move over to WordPress - they're editable with a bit of HTML knowledge. The code you see under the Template tab is basically CSS. Each paragraph refers to a different element. Just check this post out here for full instructions.

5. Publish to your own domain. Get your own domain. (And I should practice what I preach eh?) It's easy - Click Settings, Publishing. The best option is just plain old Custom Domain. Your hosting company just repoints the DNS (ask them, they'll know) to what Google prints on the domain screen - und voila. 1 x Custom Domain. Get it done sooner rather than later - it uses Google Hosting so you're not in for hefty traffic bills if the blog starts to fly. And it just looks better.

See? Bit of love. A little attention. Some future innovation. And it beats WordPress anyday! (... and you don't have to be a Linux Engineer to fix it when it breaks!)